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Comment War is not the only application for this. (Score 4, Insightful) 289

The Japanese have been developing this for decades. They knew a demographic bomb was going to go off, and they knew that nurses were going to need some help in dealing with the elderly. So there are now production power suits geared towards assisting nurses in lifting patients.

Also there is a very strong possibility this technology can be applied to assistive systems for paraplegics and quadriplegics. Imagine someone who was "sentenced to the Chair" for the rest of their lives being able to walk again. I mean, neither application is particularly sexy, not like super-soldiers and being able to do the last battle in Aliens for real, but I would say that this would be a boon for humanity far greater than any military application.

Comment Re:Business basics (Score 1) 149

Mod up insightful.

Then again sometimes "good enough" is: I am typing this to you on an Acer netbook. It cost me $200. It is better than a micro-lappie from 2000 which I also have as part of my collection: a ThinkPad 240. It was the netbook of its day and cost...$3,000 US in 2000 dollars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Thinkpad_240

Comment Classic? (Score 2, Interesting) 216

God no, the cheesiest of the MGM sci-fi movies of the 1970s. I think the only reason why people remember it fondly is the fap factor. Jenny Agutter and Farrah Fawcett. In shiny toga-like Dacron mini-dresses.

However, as others have pointed out downthread, the book was actually way better than the movie and the even cheesier 1-season-wonder TV series told it. Maybe now it will be finally done justice, like Ridley Scott will probably do with Brave New World.

Comment Re:Interesting... (Score 2, Interesting) 584

Here's how you fix it:
1.) You re-tool Medicare to widen its coverage, in preparation for what will actually save it:
2.) You open Medicare to everyone. Until 65, Medicare is a buy-in system. You will actually have to pay for it. Just like you pay for an insurance policy. Actuarially-sound price scales are created, with sliding scales derived from them for income sensitive pricing. Basically Medicare becomes an option on the "Exchanges" that will be up and running beginning in 2014.

And how will this fix Medicare?
1.) A flood of young, healthy people ditch their private insurance for this "public option" that provides better value for the money. Medicare has a 5% overhead rate. The private insurers take something like 30 cents out of every dollar paid in premiums for overhead and promotional costs.
2.) This pool of new, young blood in the Medicare program spreads the risk and re-balances the pool of insured.
3.) This will not harm private insurers one bit: instead of trying to sell people insurance policies they sell people "MediGap" policies that cover the things Medicare won't. Like gynecological and obstetric care, for instance...you can bet this new expanded Medicare will not touch women's health issues...third rail time.

There, fixed it for you.

I'll throw in a bonus: I'll fix Social Security too. Did you know there is a ceiling on income taken by FICA? After a certain point, your income is not subject to FICA taxation. You know how to fix Social Security and not have to worry about it for another century? You remove the ceiling and subject all earnings to FICA taxation. Bada bing bada bang Social Security is solvent. You take that money and put it in that lock box Al Gore was going on about in 2000, so that Republican raiders can't get their grubbies on it. Fixed that for you too.

Comment Re:Fill 'er up! (Score 1) 431

Thanks to multipath interference, I am one of that 12% who get less channels with OTA Digital. KTLA (CW) running "This" network on its sideband channel and KCET (PBS) with its three sideband channels does not make up for losing KTTV (Faux) and KCOP (Also owned by Faux but run as a My-TV affil) for good; and occasionally losing KABC (ABC/Disney) and KCAL (Indie owned by CBS) when the stars are aligned wrong.

Europe has a much more robust OTA Digital system than ATSC...seriously, man, we fail again.

Comment Re:Age of consent in Japan (Score 1) 374

Actually an invasion of Japan might have ended up in the murder-suicide of the entire population. No less a person than Kurosawa Akira recorded as much in his memoirs. The Japanese public were basically told, from the beginning of "The Pacific War," that the Emperor would, in the event of an invasion of Japan, order the suicide of all Japanese. I say murder-suicide because parents would have been ordered to dispatch their children before taking their own lives. Most families had knives for this purpose, and usually kept in a place of honor in their residence.

However, the results of the two atomic bombings of Japan are staggeringly horrific. So much so that it took until 1968 before footage taken by the Japanese Army's Documentary Corps was released as the documentary Hiroshima-Nagasaki August 1945. I am just finishing up a class on the history of documentary film, and I've watched some pretty hard-to-take footage. The clips from this documentary are perhaps the hardest to watch of anything I've seen.

Thermonuclear weapons are absolutely horrifying. We must endeavor never, ever, to use them again. However, considering what the Japanese were prepared to do to themselves and to their children if an invasion occurred, the atom bomb saved an entire civilization from self-destruction.

Comment Re:iPad is not a PC (Score 1) 624

IBM has not defined what a PC is for decades now; they even abandoned it for a while back in the PS/2 days, with the whole MCA and OS/2 debacle. Not to mention they sold their PC division to Lenovo.

"IBM compatible" these days is something running System z.

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